We chat with world tennis champion Maria Sharapova, who recently launched her Sugarpova line in Singapore
When Maria Sharapova kept us waiting for her appearance at her Sugarpova candy launch, we thought that the diva complex had gotten to her too.
But it turned out that, on the way to see us, she had been swamped by her adoring fans. She had even happily paused and posed for some pictures. When she finally made it on stage, Sharapova expressed her pleasant surprise: “Look at the turn out!”
Her supporters had gathered there to witness the Singapore launch of Sugarpova, Sharapova’s fun and flirty gummy candy collection.
Weekender caught some words with the bubbly star, who told us about her love for sweet delights and what the other tennis players thought about Sugarpova.
Welcome to Singapore! How are you enjoying your time here?
I was here six years ago, but it seems like everything changes every few months here! I’m quite impressed with the city and I know I have terrific fans here, so that’s why we wanted to bring Sugarpova (to Singapore).
Give a special shout out to your fans!
I see their support throughout my social media: through Twitter, through Facebook. Thank you so much for supporting me. I really have the best fans, and I’m so happy to finally launch my candy brand (for you).
Candy’s an interesting line for a celebrity to launch. Why did you choose it?
I wanted to do something unique! I think everyone, no matter your age, always has a passion for sweets. I’ve always had a passion for gummies!
So, have any of your fellow tennis stars tried out your Sugarpova candies?
Well, I heard there were a few empty packs in the men’s locker room, so I’m not sure who exactly tried it! But I think they have – Novak (Djokovic) is actually a fan. Some of the packages have “gluten-free” (printed) on them so he loves those.
Well, what about for your boyfriend? Which flavour does he like?
He likes flirty sour! My personal flavour right now is “Speedy” – it’s little Porsche 911 cars that are yoghurt gummies. They’re quite new. That’s been my personal favourite.
Which one celebrity do you wish could try your candy?
If Marilyn Monroe was still alive, I’d love for (her) to try it!
Is Sugarpova going to have more flavours beyond the current 12?
We’re actually creating a few mini versions of what we have, and we’re working on a few different projects to expand outside of candy… When I stop with my career – which is going to be in many years – I would love to expand into a bigger lifestyle brand.
As an athlete, how do you balance between staying healthy and indulging in your guilty pleasures?
Being fit is a huge part of my lifestyle. I train on a daily basis to be on top of women’s tennis. But of course, just like everyone, I love sweets! Whether it’s gummies, a piece of chocolate, or afternoon tea, I do indulge because it’s also mentally satisfying to give yourself a little break once in a while after a tough day!
Do you have any plans venturing out after Sugarpova has kicked off?
I firstly want to establish myself in the candy world; it’s a very competitive market. But I do want to turn Sugarpova into a lifestyle luxury brand as well.
You’re one of the most successful female athletes in the world. What is the big secret to your success?
I’ve been very lucky to have an incredible career in tennis and to have a big passion for what I do. It’s brought me so many great opportunities, like it has allowed me to (launch) Sugarpova.
Having won so many championship titles, how do you feel about your upcoming tournaments?
(On the Women’s Tennis Association tournament in Singapore) It’s one that I always look forward to at the beginning of the year… I’m looking forward to every challenge that comes my way.
By Pamela Chow
Maria Sharapova was in town for the WTA tournament in October 2014. Her candy line, Sugarpova, is available at Robinsons The Heeren.